10 Ways To Get Your Spouse On Board With Your Business
When you start a home business, the person closest to you is sometimes your biggest detractor – your spouse. They don’t have to be abusive, telling you that you’re stupid. Just their lack of understanding leads to unsupportive attitude through their statements (‘what are you doing anyway?’), their expectations (‘you’re home all day, why isn’t dinner done?’) and their demands (‘you never come to bed with me’). In addition, two other ‘special’ attitudes you may encounter are out-and-out criticism (‘that will never work’) or dismissal (‘you don’t need to work anyway, give this up’).
This from the person who is supposed to be your biggest support, right? Well, it isn’t always a case where they are trying to put you down (but it doesn’t feel good nevertheless).
Sometimes they don’t understand what you are doing. Sometimes they are a little resentful that they have to get up and leave the house in the morning.
Sometimes they feel neglected. Whatever the reason, there are things you can do to encourage a more positive attitude from your significant other when she or he is less than supportive.
1. Get your mate familiar with your business. Show them around your office, introduce them to your system, your projects, your regular customers. They will then have a better understanding of your issues when you talk shop.
2. Elicit their input and suggestions from time to time. Get them involved when possible (even if just brainstorming solutions to a problem), so they have more of a personal stake in your success.
3. Be sure to acknowledge any input, whether you use it or not.
4. Even though you are also working hard, working from home makes your time a little more flexible. You can take frequent breaks, you can leave when you need to, and no one is standing over your shoulder. You have to be prepared to give a little because of that to keep harmony. For instance, you may be the one to pick up the kids even though your spouse is already out of the house.
5. At the same time, don’t let a lack of understanding undermine your motivation and determination. Just as it takes time for your business efforts to get off the ground, it may take time for a partner to come around.
6. The tendency to work even longer hours is great when you are trying to be successful and your office is 2 minutes away. Make it a point to put down the work and regularly make time for your spouse. In fact, take advantage of your flexibility; meet him or her at work for lunch.
7. Formally sit down and talk about how chores will be divided fairly.
8. Celebrate your successes with your partner. When something goes well, arrange a special dinner or buy a special gift.
9. Take a few minutes to really empathize with your spouse. Besides being your husband or wife and the parent of your kids, what’s going on in his/her life? What’s going on with his/her job?
10. Thank him or her. You spouse is a partner in your business, no matter how invisible their involvement. One way or another they are probably providing some mental, emotional, physical, parental, household, or monetary support towards your business effort. Once in a while, send them a thank you note, card, flower, massage, etc. Even tell others like your associates, customers and family about your spouse’s contributions towards your business achievements.
Article contributed by Tracey Dishman Patterson
Source: This article has been taken with permission from The Parent’s Home Office